Organic Life Vitamins: Staying Healthy for Life

You can’t survive without vitamins. Collectively, they are necessary for bodily functioning and even for creating DNA, our genetic blueprint. Your body cannot make most the vitamins you need. Experts agree that the best way to obtain the vitamins you need is in the food you eat. If you can’t or don’t get all your vitamins from your diet, an organic vitamin supplement can provide them.

Some studies have found that organic crops, including spinach, carrots, potatoes and oranges, may have higher amounts of vitamin C than conventionally grown crops. One study specifically found that organically grown oranges had 30 percent more of the vitamin than traditionally grown oranges. Organic vitamins are derived from organic food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has an organic certification program that requires food labeled as organic to meet strict standards.

The Best Way to Get Organic Vitamins

Getting your vitamins in whole food is best, because whole food contains nutrients and other healthful substances in addition to vitamins. For example, an orange contains not just vitamin C, but fiber, calcium and phytochemicals. Many phytochemicals are good antioxidants and may also help protect you from cancers, heart disease and diabetes. Antioxidants protect the cells in your body from damage. The Mayo Clinic has a list of 10 foods it considers among top picks for staying healthy for life. The food on its list meet at least three of these criteria: a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, are high in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds, may help cut the risk of heart disease or other conditions, are lower in calories per portion, and are easily available. Those foods are apples, almonds, blueberries, broccoli, red beans, salmon, spinach, sweet potatoes, vegetable juice and wheat germ.

The Second Best Way to Get Organic Vitamins

If you’re in the majority who do not get all the vitamins you need in your diet, supplements can provide the rest. Consumer Reports suggests a basic multivitamin with vitamins A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, B12, folate, C, D, E, and K. Proponents of organic food contend that it’s worth it to spend a little extra money to obtain organic vitamins. Organic vitamins must be derived from organic food. Ronnie Cummins, head of the non-profit Organic Consumers Association, says consumers must be savvy and read the labels. If a company claims its vitamins are organic, he says, ask the company for the organic certification that proves it. There are different categories of organic products. If a food product is “100 percent organic,” that’s what the label will say. If the label says the product is “organic,” at least 95 percent of the ingredients in a processed product have been organically produced. If the label says “made with organic,” the product has 70 to 95 percent organic ingredients.

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